Community Payback in Hertfordshire
8 August 2010, 06:00
Which areas of Hertfordshire do you think need cleaning up?
The Hertfordshire Probation Trust wants local people to suggest areas where convicted offenders doing Community Payback can work.
The offenders carry out environmental improvements in the area where they've committed their crime, as a way of giving something back and 'paying' for what they've done.
The workers wear high-vis jackets with 'Community Payback' written on them and usually work between 8.30am and 4pm.
In the past they have worked on projects including litter picks at Black Fan Lagoon in Welwyn Garden City, sweeping the play area at St John's School is Digswell at the end of term and removing graffiti from Hatfield swimming pool and subways.
Community Payback Supervisor Lee Warren from the Probation Trust said:
"Are there any other areas that we have not addressed that would benefit from a tidy up? We often fill several bags of rubbish and have been picking up rubbish from Stanborough lakes after a member of the public alerted us to the rubbish from joggers, walkers and fishermen."
Community Payback Manager Kerry Eastman told Heart:
"If the general public can have a say in where the community payback projects are and the work that the offenders are actually carrying out, then they can see that the work they're carrying out does benefit the community."
And she says most of the offenders are pleased to get involved with the work:
"The majority of the time they're quite happy to make reparations to the communities that they've offended within - especially because these offenders do come from these communities as well. To see that they're actually doing something within their own community, then it actually works well both for the offenders and for the general public."
Under the scheme offenders are sentenced to carry out up to 300 hours of unpaid work under the supervision of the Hertfordshire Probation Trust. The punishment usually involves hard, manual labour.
If you've got a project that you'd like to suggest you can visit www.hertfordshireprobation.gov.uk which has information about the type of projects that would be accepted.